NEH banner [Return to Query]

Products for grant RQ-50533-10

Completing a Three-Volume Anthologv of Earlv Modern Japanese Literature in English
Sumie Jones, Trustees of Indiana University

Grant details:

An Edo Anthology: Literature from Japan's Mega-City, 1750-1850 (Book)
Title: An Edo Anthology: Literature from Japan's Mega-City, 1750-1850
Editor: Kenji Watanabe
Editor: Sumie Jones
Abstract: During the eighteenth century, Edo (today’s Tokyo) became the world’s largest city, surpassing London and Paris. Its rapidly expanding population and economy encouraged the development of a thriving popular culture. Innovative and ambitious young authors and artists soon began to look beyond the established categories of poetry, drama, and prose, banding together to invent completely new literary forms focusing on the fun and charm of Edo. Their writings were sometimes witty, wild, and bawdy, and other times sensitive, wise, and polished. Some of these, celebrating the rapid changes, extraordinary events, and scandalous news of the day, have been collected here, highlighting the city life of Edo. Edo’s urban consumers demanded visual presentations and performances in all genres. Novelties such as books with text and art on the same page were highly sought after, as were kabuki plays and polychrome prints that often shared the same themes, characters, and even jokes. Popular interest in sex and entertainment focused attention on the theatre district and “pleasure quarters,” which became the chief backdrops for the literature and arts of the period. Gesaku, or “playful writing,” invented in the mid-eighteenth century, satirized the government and samurai behavior while parodying the classics. These new styles bred genres that appealed to the masses. Among the bestsellers were lengthy serialized heroic epics, revenge dramas, ghost and monster stories, romantic melodramas, and comedies that featured common folk. Featured are examples of this broad range of genres and media, including both well-known masterpieces and unusual examples from the city’s counterculture, some popular with intellectuals, others with wider appeal. Some of the translations presented here are the first available in English and many are based on first editions. This collection will be of interest to students and interested readers of Japanese literature and popular culture.
Year: 2013
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: WorldCat listing
Secondary URL:
Secondary URL Description: Publisher's listing
Access Model: Book
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Type: Translation
Type: Scholarly Edition
ISBN: 9780824837402
Copy sent to NEH?: Yes

A Tokyo Anthology: Literature from Japan’s Modern Capital, 1850—1920 (Book)
Title: A Tokyo Anthology: Literature from Japan’s Modern Capital, 1850—1920
Editor: Sumie Jones
Editor: Charles Shiro Inouye
Abstract: The city of Tokyo, renamed following the Meiji Restoration, developed an urban culture that was a dynamic integration of Edo’s highly developed traditions and Meiji renovations, some of which reflected the influence of Western culture. This wide-ranging anthology—including fictional and dramatic works, poetry, essays, newspaper articles, political manifestos, and cartoons—tells the story of how the city's literature and arts grew out of an often chaotic and sometimes paradoxical political environment to move toward the realization of Japanese ?modernity.' Tokyo’s downtown audience constituted a market that demanded visuality and spectacle, while the educated uptown favored written, realistic literature. The literary products resulting from these conflicting consumer bases were therefore hybrid entities of old and new technologies. A Tokyo Anthology guides the reader through Japanese literature's journey from classical to spoken, pictocentric to logocentric, and fantastic to realistic—leading to the novel as the dominant form of modern literature. The volume highlights not only familiar masterpieces but also lesser known examples chosen from the city’s downtown life and counterculture. Imitating the custom of creative artists of the Edo period, scholars from the United States, Canada, England, Germany, and Japan have collaborated in order to produce this intriguing sampling of Meiji works in the best possible translations. The editors have sought out the most reliable first editions of texts, reproducing most of their original illustrations. With few exceptions the translations presented here are the first in the English language. This rich anthology will be welcomed by students and scholars of Japan studies and by a wide range of general audiences interested in Japan’s popular culture, media culture, and literature in translation. This volume follows An Edo Anthology: Literature from Japan’s Mega-City, 1750-1850, edited by Sumie Jones with Kenji Watanabe.
Year: 2017
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Type: Translation
Type: Scholarly Edition

"Translation as Overtextual Reading; or, How to Compose a Japanese Rap in English" (Article)
Title: "Translation as Overtextual Reading; or, How to Compose a Japanese Rap in English"
Author: Sumie Jones
Abstract: The essay discusses alternative theories of translation, focusing on the author's own concept of "overtext." It applies the notions to the practice of translation and editing for an anthology in English of a foreign literature. Particular examples are drawn from the translation of a nineteenth century protest song, highlighting the principle of collaboration and repeated editing and revision.
Year: 2015
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Translation Review
Publisher: Routledge